Thursday, June 4, 2009

What's Cooking?

Yesterday, I made Tyler Florence Chicken Enchiladas, they were very good and the best part is that the recipe makes 2 pans of enchiladas. Everyone was more than happy when I suggested we have them again tonight! Yay!

I also made a batch of Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies this afternoon. There is nothing like a warm cookie fresh from the oven.

Big B went to get a snack and reminded me that the apples look yucky. I'd forgotten about those, they were not fresh and crisp when I bought them. So I have a pot of applesauce simmering on the stove. Big B will have it for breakfast on fresh whole wheat toast tomorrow morning. No recipe, just apple slices, a wee bit of water, brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, simmer until done.

Tomorrow is Friday and that means Pizza Night and I'll be making whole wheat pizza dough in the morning. The basil in the garden is nice and big so I'm sure that will be tasty on the pizzas.

And that's not counting the loaves of bread that are on my weekly baking schedule.

Hmm, maybe I'll suggest that we order Chinese on Saturday?

Monday, June 1, 2009


The Square Foot Gardens are doing awesome! We picked and ate our first green pepper over the weekend. Yummy! The squash is blooming and absolutely gorgeous. The cucumber vines are full of baby cukes. The most fun part is that almost everything was planted from seeds. Not to mention, cheap too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I've made chocolate chip cookies with whole wheat flour before and they were... well, yucky. They were dry and tasted of whole wheat flour.

Then I found this recipe, it's from a cookbook called The Frog Commissary Cookbook. The only change I made to the recipe was that I used whole wheat flour instead of white. The cookies are chewy and crunchy, what a perfect cookie. They also have oatmeal in them, the old fashioned whole oats kind. You can just pretend the butter and sugar aren't in there. I've ditched the Tollhouse recipe for this one, these cookies taste so much better.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from The Frog Commissary Cookbook)
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use Whole Wheat and no one can tell!)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups oats (rolled or "quick," but not "instant")
2 cups chocolate chips (about 12-oz.)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until mixture is light in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the milk and the vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Either by hand or with the mixer on low speed, gradually beat the flour in to the sugar mixture until just incorporated.
Stir in the oats and chocolate chips by hand.
Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto the cookie sheet, placing about 1 1/2 inches apart so they have room to spread.
Bake at 350F for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and light golden at the center.
Cool on baking sheet for at least 1-2 minutes before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How does your garden grow?

The Square Foot Gardens are doing great! The small 4 foot x 4 foot box holds a lot.

Box 2 contains:

2 Zucchini Squash
2 Dwarf Marigolds
2 Dianthus flowers
1 Gerbera Daisy
11 Green Onions ( we planted 16)
2 Sweet red Pepper plants
4 cucumbers
1 Big Boy Tomato
1 Grape Tomato

Box 1 contains:

2 Dwarf Marigolds
1 Green Pepper
2 Diantthus
1 red pepper
4 basil plants
4 squash plants (we just planted those last weekend)
12 green onions
2 sunflowers ( one is huge and one got mangled by a football!)

Monday, May 18, 2009


I'm overdue, for a hair cut that is. My last cut was in Feb. I checked my calendar two weeks ago, noticed an open space and called the salon. My stylist broke her foot and is out until the beginning of June! The person making the appointment was very nice and offered to book me with another stylist, I politely declined. Alli has been cutting my hair for almost two years now and I like her, she can make my hair do things that I never thought was possible. She was the third person in the salon to cut my hair and I've never even considered anyone else since. So, I'll continue looking ratty and overgrown until June. Get well soon Alli, my hair needs you!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Silver update

Wow, my hair is not pixie length anymore! Woo Hoo! I like my naturally silver highlights and I can't imagine myself as a red head anymore. I'm sure there are people who think I'm nuts, but I'm enjoying being dye-free! I'm liking my hair, I'd forgotten what my hair feels like without all the harsh chemicals. Oh yeah, I have lots of red shirts now! I could never wear red before, it totally clashed with my red/orange hair.

Monday, May 4, 2009

He loves my buns!

Hamburger buns that is!

I try to keep at least 8 to 12 of these in the freezer. Four of these fit nicely in a gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag. They thaw nicely on the counter, when I remember to take them out in the morning before dinner. I make these from a King Arthur Whole Wheat Dinner Roll recipe found here. They are very yummy as dinner rolls too, especially if you brush melted butter on them just as they come out of the oven. My daughter will ask for a dinner roll for her snack instead of a cookie, she loves them that much. My former neighbor Little B used to love them too. The only change I make to the recipe is that I use no white flour, I use all whole wheat and they come out nice and soft. The recipe makes 8 nice sized hamburger buns baked on a cookie sheet or 16 dinner rolls baked in a 9 X 13 pan. Just slice the buns with a bread knife when you are ready to use them.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pizza Night!

Friday nights are pizza night, there would be a rebellion in my house if we had something different for dinner. I thought I'd share my favorite whole wheat crust.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 2/3 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp salt
4 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast

I use the dough cycle on the bread machine. When they cycle is complete I divide the dough into 2 pieces and place them in plastic bags and stick them in the fridge. They can keep a couple of days in the fridge. I take them out about 30 minutes before I'm ready to use them and let them sit on the counter so they get room temperature.

Each half of the dough will make a 16" pizza. I roll my dough and then place on a cornmeal sprinkled pizza peel to assemble. Once assembled, the key is to place them in the oven on a pizza stone that has been preheated to 450 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes.

I can't wait for the basil to grow in my garden, the kids love fresh basil on homemade pizza too. If I can remember I'll try to take a pic of one tonight when it's all baked and yummy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Insert Post Title Here!

I made Dark Chocolate covered strawberries this morning to take to an Easter Party. We are so blessed to have met such awesome friends here. Our kids get along great and are near the same ages, mine are 10 and soon to be 13 and hers are 8 and 13. We have a standing weekly playdate where we alternate the kids coming to play each week. It's great, it gives the kids some play time and us mom's a 3 hour break. We have such fun holiday parties. Today we'll be doing an Egg hunt, of course, and spoon races, silly string, etc.

While I was making the strawberries, I was reminiscing about the guys who stood on the street corners in CA and sold strawberries and oranges. Usually they spoke no English, but the produce was usually good quality.

Also, I miss the diversity of CA. It really hurt me last week to disenroll from a local homeschool group here. The group has some wonderful people and plans great field trips and adventures. One of the ladies in the group was asked to leave, after planning many, many events and even a week long trip to DC, because they didn't consider her a "mainstream Christian", their words, not mine. She is an awesome lady with a great heart. I decided that I can't belong to such an exclusive group. I'm sure that I'll see some of the members around town and at gatherings, but I cannot willingly support such a thing. I have friends that are the same religion as this former member and it hurts me that other Christians would be so cruel. This brings me back to CA and my diverse homeschool group, we had super conservative Christians, extreme hippie types, Muslims and Jewish members. We all got along beautifully, we respected each other and our children had a great time. For me, homeschooling is exposing my children, with my guidance, to the world and it's people.

Sigh, this whole mess has just been heavy on my heart, but I think most of all it saddens me that such prejudices even exist. Can you see why there is not a title for this post, my thoughts are all over the place this morning?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring, finally!

It's spring, finally! The past few weekends have been beautiful and we've been busy outside. We built our boxes for our Square Foot gardens. So far, Miss A has planted marigolds and dianthus. We plan to get veggies planted this week, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, also a watermelon and my favorite herb, basil. Building the garden was fun and a nice family project, Miss A really had a hand in helping out. We are planning to put a rose bush in between the two boxes and then finish off the garden with a rock border.

I love petunias and couldn't wait for spring to get here so that I could hang baskets on the front porch! Happy Spring!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My love!

I ordered my new stove on Valentine's Day!  Yes, I love my stove.  I bake all of our sandwich bread, rolls and hamburger buns, so to say that I use the oven a lot is an understatement. I couldn't be happier with any other gift.  The top oven preheats in about 4 minutes, the bottom in about 7 or 8.  The bottom oven is also a convection oven, which is heaven when baking bread and rolls.  They rise a bit higher and have a lovely crust.  I was ecstatic one Sunday afternoon when I was able to convection roast a chicken in the lower oven, while baking rolls in the top oven.  I was so giddy when I could bake 3 trays of cookies at once in the convection oven, in fact that was the first thing I baked the day it was delivered. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

Still Growing!

      I can't believe that I ever cut my hair pixie short! Grow, grow, grow! Seriously, I have so many burn marks on my forehead and side of my face from trying to use the flat iron and curling iron. LOL

Thursday, February 5, 2009


It's haircut day again! The length has come a long way since the pixie, but it's a while yet until I get back to shoulder length again. These aren't the best pics, I'd just gotten back from the salon. It's just below freezing today so my stylist dried and flat-ironed my hair. I'm sure that I won't be using the flat-iron everyday! The side view really shows the color well, I think. When it warms up I'll get outside and take some pics in the sunlight. The lighting inside seems to make it look blond/brown when it's really gray. I'm getting there! Thanks for following along with me on my journey.

Friday, January 2, 2009


A new year, a new me!